Though the tourist season may have its peaks and valleys, the North Carolina mountains are truly a nature-lover’s playground 365 days a year.
Spring brings an abundance of wonderful wildflowers to the region’s best hiking trails, from striking orange flame azaleas and white mountain laurel to vivid pink rhododendrons.
Summer offers warmer weather, an explosion of verdant green foliage, and a chance to cool off in the countless waterfalls and lakes that dot the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
Autumn is peak season, with the radiant fall colors attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors.
From driving to scenic Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks and hiking in Pisgah National Forest to camping in state parks and exploring the myriad mountain towns along the way, there are an endless array of things to do at this time of year.
But you could make an argument that winter is the most magical time to visit the mountains of North Carolina. The crowds are smaller, the rates are cheaper, and there’s a decent chance the higher elevations may be dusted with snow.
There are twinkling Christmas lights in all the small towns, Christmas tree farms dotted across the NC High Country, and tons of resorts offering opportunities for snow-skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing.
Snow tubing in the North Carolina mountains is extremely popular, especially with families. Most of the NC snow tubing resorts have snow-making capabilities, so they’re still fun on sunny winter days .
Read on for our in-depth guide to the best snow tubing in NC, with ski resorts and tubing parks listed geographically, and details about the activities and attractions at each one.
READ MORE: The Best Places for Snow-Skiing in North Carolina
Snow Tubing in North Carolina Mountains Guide
- Wolf Ridge Snow Tubing Park (Mars Hill)
- Zip N Slip Snow Tubing Park (Mars Hill)
- Frozen Falls Tube Park, a.k.a Sapphire Valley Snow Tubing (Sapphire Valley)
- Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Zipline (Seven Devils)
- Sugar Mountain Resort (Sugar Mountain)
- Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park (Newland)
- Beech Mountain Resort (Beech Mountain)
- Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing Park (Hendersonville)
- Black Bear Snow Tubing (Hendersonville)
- Cataloochee Ski Area (Maggie Valley)
- Highlands Outpost (Scaly Mountain)
READ MORE: 20 Awesome Things to Do for Winter in North Carolina
Snow Tubing In Asheville NC
The largest of the North Carolina mountain towns (population around 95,000), Asheville NC is an artistic town filled with loads of history.
The city’s thriving cultural heart is the River Arts District. But the entire metropolitan area is filled with delicious restaurants and breweries, and surrounded by excellent hiking trails, waterfalls and unique treehouse rentals.
There are also plenty of snow tubing parks and ski resorts near Asheville for family and friends to enjoy.
Read on for our Asheville snow tubing recommendations, and note that the parks are listed in order of their geographic proximity to Downtown Asheville.
READ MORE: The 30 Best Things to Do in Asheville NC
1. Wolf Ridge Snow Tubing Park
578 Valley View Circle, Mars Hill NC • 828-689-4111
Located in Mars Hill NC, the Wolf Ridge Snow Tubing Park features a 350-foot-long slope that’s 100 feet wide at the bottom and 60 feet wide at the top.
The park also features a “magic carpet” to carry tubers back to the top, shuttle, and lights for nighttime snow tubing. Wolf Ridge sits at an elevation of 4,700 feet, and offers stunning views of Big Bald Mountain.
Located 20 minutes from Asheville, the snow tubing park is part of Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, which offers skiing and snowboarding slopes, as well as lessons at the resort’s Snow Sports School.
The park makes its own snow, so you never have to worry whether Mother Nature will provide her own fresh powder. There are no designated lanes here, which means that guests can link up their tubes and ride together.
The Wolf Ridge Tubing season lasts from the first week of December through mid-April, with holiday rates ending in late February. The season’s start and end dates are tentative, as they rely on how much snow the area receives.
The Wolf Ridge Tube Run is open from 9AM to 10PM Mon-Sat, and 9AM to 4:30PM on Sunday (except holiday weekends). Rates are cheaper on weekdays– $20 per hour, or $30 for 2 hours– rising to $25 an hour, or $35 for two hours, Friday to Sunday.
While at the ski resort, guests can also explore their four nature trails and two diamond runs, or relax by the fire inside with hot chocolate.
Guests can stay in cabins through Wolf Mountain Realty. We recommend a 4BR Wolf Laurel Resort Home with Views & Hot Tub, or a cozy 2BR resort cabin. But there are other vacation rentals (some pet-friendly) available via VRBO.
While you’re in the area, watch a show at the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, take a cooking class at The Farmer’s Hands, hike Big Bald Mountain, or pick up a Xmas tree at Frosty Mountain Christmas Tree Farm.
READ MORE: The Best Western NC Christmas Tree Farms in Asheville, Boone & Beyond
2. Zip N Slip Snow Tubing Park
10725 US-23, Mars Hill NC • 828-689-8444
The Zip N Slip Snow Tubing Park in Mars Hills NC features four tubing lanes, with increased snowmaking capabilities for the 2022 season (which begins in mid-December and ends in late February).
It is strongly encouraged that visitors make reservations in advance, as the available slots often sell out. Each snow tubing session lasts up to two hours, and the park offers nighttime snow tubing with well-lit slopes.
Over the summer, Zip N Slip doubled its snow-making capabilities and increased their tubing lanes from 4 to 10. They also upgraded their facilities to make the 2022-2023 season even better than last year.
Current rates for tubing are $30 for an hour, or $45 for two-hour sessions. Groups of more than 15 people get a $7.50 discount for each person ($22.50/$37.50), and kids ages 3 to 5 are free.
Zip N Slip does not offer on-site lodging, but there are many hotels and cabin rentals available nearby.
We recommend the Marshall House Inn, Bend of Ivy Lodge, and the Buck House Inn on Bald Mountain. Nearby cabin rentals can also be found through Wolf Mountain Realty.
While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the animals at Farmory’s Safari Edventure, explore the hiking trails at Wild Harmony Park, and go horseback riding with Sandy Bottom Trail Rides.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Bryson City NC & Swain County
3. Frozen Falls Tube Park (a.k.a. Sapphire Valley Snow Tubing)
127 Cherokee Trail, Sapphire Valley NC • 828-743-7663
Frozen Falls Tube Park is in Sapphire Valley NC, about 60 miles southwest of Asheville on NC-280 W and US-64 W. This exciting snow tubing park features a 500-foot-long run, with a 60-foot vertical drop!
There are no age, weight, or height restrictions at Frozen Falls. But guests will need to fill out a release form when they purchase tickets, and will be held responsible for any injuries at the park.
Tubing tickets are sold in advance for the entire weekend (Friday through Sunday) at the Sapphire Valley Community Center, starting at 9AM on Friday morning.
The public rate for one session is $30, while the amenity rate for Sapphire Valley guests is $22.50. Frozen Falls snow tubing sessions last up to 1.75 hours, with sessions starting at 10AM, noon, 2PM, and 4PM.
Guests can choose between on-site lodging or stay in a 4BR Sapphire Valley Resort Cabin w/Mountain Views, a 3BR Charming Home 4 miles from Sapphire Valley, a 5BR Luxury Cabin, or one of many other VRBO options.
While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the waterfalls near Brevard and Cashiers, explore Gorges State Park, and visit the scenic Horsepasture River.
You can also relax and unwind at the Canyon Spa at Lonesome Valley, or pick up a Christmas tree at Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm & Elf Village.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Christmas Towns in North Carolina
Snow Tubing In Boone NC
Boone NC is one of several scenic small towns in the North Carolina High Country, perhaps best known as home to Appalachian State University.
Located approximately two hours north of Asheville and Hendersonville, the town is filled with tasty restaurants, beautiful waterfalls, picturesque campgrounds, and excellent hiking trails.
An array of ski resorts and snow tubing options surround the town, which becomes a winter wonderland around the holidays. Decorations light up King Street, and snow-flecked Boone Christmas tree farms are in abundance.
Read on for our guide to snow tubing parks in and around Boone NC, which are listed in order of geographic proximity.
READ MORE: The 20 Best Things to Do in Boone NC
4. Hawksnest Snow Tubing & Zipline
2058 Skyland Drive, Seven Devils NC • 828-963-6561
Located 14 miles southwest of Boone, Hawksnest Snow Tubing & Zipline is the largest snow tubing park on the East Coast. It offers 30+ lanes of snow tubing, spanning from 400 to 1,000 feet long.
The park won the title of “TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice,” and has been ranked #1 among snow tubing parks in NC. Children must be at least 3 years old to go snow tubing, and sessions last up to an hour and 45 minutes.
Mon-Fri tubing sessions are $35, but on weekends and holidays the price goes up to $45. You can get two sessions for $45 on weekdays.
Available sessions start at 10AM daily, and stop at 4PM Mon-Thu, 6PM Fri-Sat, and 2PM on Sundays. The opening and closing dates at Hawksnest are dependent on weather, but the park typically opens during Thanksgiving week.
In addition to snow tubing, the park also offers ziplining and concessions on-site. Food is available in the first-floor café, including hot drinks and light snacks.
There’s no on-site lodging, but there are many cabin rentals nearby. We recommend a 2BR Seven Devils Condo, a 2BR Banner Elk Cabin, or a larger 5BR Banner Elk Home. There are also an abundance of rental options on VRBO.
While you’re in the area, check out the Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster, hike the scenic Otter Falls trail, visit the Sugar Creek Gem Mine, or get some Christmas cheer at the Hawk Mountain Christmas Tree Farm.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Banner Elk NC
5. Sugar Mountain Resort
1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Sugar Mountain NC • 828-898-4521
Located about 15 miles southwest of Boone, the Sugar Mountain Resort is home to snow tubing lanes that range up to 700 feet in length. Thankfully, there’s a “magic carpet” that transports tubers back up to the top.
Children under age 3 aren’t allowed on the tubing slopes. Children ages 6 and under must ride with an adult, and kids ages 7-8 must be supervised by a parent. Tubing sessions last up to an hour and 45 minutes.
Sugar Mountain Resort’s winter season typically begins in early November and runs through March, depending upon the weather. In 2021 they added a 2,000-foot-long Big Birch chairlift, plus five new snowmaking machines.
Daily tubing sessions start at 10AM, noon, 2PM, 4PM, 6PM, and 8PM each day, with tickets available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Sessions cost $33 on weekdays and $40 on weekends and holidays (Dec 15 to Jan 1).
During “March Madness”, when the North Carolina tubing season has unofficially ended, they offer discounted rates, with weekday sessions at $25 and weekends $30.
This popular North Carolina ski resort also offers a variety of other activities, ski and snowboarding slopes, ice skating, golf, and snowshoeing. Visitors will also find shopping, numerous great restaurants, and a spa at the resort.
For lodging, we recommend the nearby Chetola Resort Lodge or condos in Blowing Rock NC, or the privately owned Sugar Mountain accommodations available on Booking.com or VRBO.
While you’re in the area, be sure to visit Grandfather Mountain State Park (and the Mile High Swinging Bridge at the adjacent paid attraction), or pick up a tree at Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Hotels & Cabin Rentals in NC
6. Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park
9472 NC-181, Newland NC • 828-733-4155
Located 25 miles south of Boone near Linville Falls, Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park is a family-friendly place with 5 snow tubing lanes and a “magic carpet” conveyer belt to the top of the ski slope.
Jonas Ridge offers tubes specially made to intensify the speed of their rides, and uses snow guns to ensure fresh powder is always available. The park is also equipped with plenty of lights for nighttime snow tubing!
The park requires all children ages six and under to be accompanied by an adult, and a maximum of four people may ride together at once.
Full snow tubing sessions are $35, or $30 for children six or under. Jonas Ridge also offers 1-hour sessions for $25 and $20, plus discounted rates for active military and groups of 15 or more.
Note that Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Park typically opens in mid-December, and the season lasts through March. But this strongly relies on weather conditions. Closure updates can be found on Jonas Ridge’s social media channels.
There’s no on-site lodging here, but there are a variety of cabins and hotels near the park. We recommend the 2BR Newland Cottage, 4BR Newland Escape (with hot tub!), or 5BR Riverfront Home. Additional accommodation options are available from VRBO.
While you’re in the area, visit nearby attractions such as Linville Caverns, Bobby McLean Memorial Park, the hiking trails at Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, or wine tastings at local wineries.
READ MORE: The 15 Best NC Wineries to Visit
7. Beech Mountain Resort
1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain NC• 828-387-2011
Towering at an elevation of 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain NC is the highest town east of the Rockies.
Located 24 miles west of Boone, Beech Mountain Resort offers snow tubing lanes ranging up to 700 feet in length. It’s also known for its ski slopes, and offers shopping, restaurants, and even a brewery in the Resort Village.
Their early season goes from Nov 20 to Dec 9, while the late season lasts from March 13 to 27. Note that reservations are necessary, and early and late season tickets are only sold in person.
Sessions start every other hour, from 10AM to 6PM on weekends and from noon to 6PM on weekdays. Tubing North Carolina at Beech Mountain costs $32 during the week or $38 on weekends and holidays (Dec 10-Jan 1).
Beech Mountain has a very strict height policy. For snow tubing, all riders must be at least 42 inches tall, and children are not allowed to ride on their parent’s lap. Tubes are also limited to one person each.
There are a number of cabins and hotels near the resort. We recommend the Little Main Street Inn, Beech Alpen Inn, and 4 Seasons at Beech Mountain. Nearby vacation home and cabin rentals are also available through VRBO.
While you’re in the area, take some time to hike the trails in scenic Emerald Outback, meet the alpacas and other animals of Apple Hill Farm, or get into the Christmas spirit at Twin Oakes Christmas Tree Farm.
READ MORE: The 6 Best Boone NC Breweries & Brewpubs (with Map)
Snow Tubing In Hendersonville NC
Located approximately 20 miles east of Brevard and 25 miles south of Asheville, Hendersonville NC is a town rich with history that also features great restaurants, shopping, apple orchards, wineries, and other attractions.
Though located at a considerably lower elevation (2,152 feet) than the towns of the NC High Country, the area is home to several fun-filled snow tubing parks for everyone to enjoy.
Read on for our guide to snow tubing in and around Hendersonville, and note that the parks are listed in order of geographical proximity to the town.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Hendersonville NC
8. Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing Park
5865 Willow Ridge Road, Hendersonville NC • 828-696-0333
Located about 6 miles from Downtown Hendersonville, the Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing Park features 500 feet of tubing slopes. And since the park makes its own snow, there’s always an abundance of powder to ride on!
All snow tubers must be at least 36 inches tall, and weigh no more than 300 pounds. Moonshine Mountain’s tube lift has a 250-pound weight limit, but guests who exceed it may walk to the top of the slopes instead.
The price for snow tubing at Moonshine Mountain is $35 for all riders, and the sessions last two hours. They don’t take reservations, and guests must pay in cash (but there is an ATM on site).
In addition to snow tubing, the park also features snacks from the Haus Heidelberg Food Truck, as well as hot chocolate by the fire inside the lodge. Guests will also find a gift shop to browse inside the lodge.
There are lots of lodging options near the park. We recommend staying at the Echo Mountain Inn, The Lodge at Flat Rock, or Highland Lake Inn & Resort. Vacation home rentals and cabin rentals are also available from VRBO.
Popular attractions in the area include the Elijah Mountain Gem Mining, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Sandburg’s home, hiking in DuPont State Recreational Forest, and u-pick fun at local apple orchards.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Hendersonville NC Restaurants for Foodies
9. Black Bear Snow Tubing
373 Kerr Road, Hendersonville NC • 828-685-1155
Located 13 miles northeast of Downtown Hendersonville, the family-owned Black Bear Snow Tubing park features a snow tubing slope over 500 feet in length.
Black Bear park makes its own snow, and offers tubing on its summer slope during the hotter weeks in winter.
Because the park is located at a lower altitude, slope conditions here rely on Hendersonville weather. The park is typically open from October through early March, but it was closed until Dec 18 in 2021.
Children must be 4 years old and weigh at least 35 pounds to ride, and 4- to 6-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult. Group tubing is not allowed, and the maximum weight limit is 300 pounds.
Tickets must be purchased on-site, without reservations. A standard two-hour tubing session is $40, but they also offer one-hour sessions for $30. Groups of 20 or more can get $5 off their individual tickets.
The Black Bear Snow Tubing park includes a heated lodge where guests can relax with hot drinks, hot dogs, and other concessions. There’s also an on-site playground for kids.
If you want to stay nearby, we recommend the Broad River Inn, a 3BR Hendersonville cabin with hot tub, or a 3BR Charming Hendersonville Cottage. Vacation homes and cabin rentals are also available through VRBO.
While you’re in the area, take time to explore the town of Hendersonville, get breathtaking views at Jump Off Rock, or see a play at the Flat Rock Playhouse. If you have kids, take them to the Hands On Museum for a day of fun!
READ MORE: The 15 Best Treehouse Rentals in the North Carolina Mountains
Snow Tubing In Maggie Valley NC
With the tagline “nestled in nature’s glory,” Maggie Valley is a scenic small town located 18 miles east of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
With a variety of colorful North Carolina wildflowers and many black bears, Maggie Valley is a nature lover’s dream destination.
While you’re in the area, be on the lookout for Cataloochee Valley Elk!
Many elk from the national park herd have begun migrating into Maggie Valley, and they can often be seen throughout the town at dawn and dusk.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Maggie Valley NC
10. Cataloochee Ski Area
4721 Soco Road, Maggie Valley NC • 828-926-0285
Located less than 5 miles from Maggie Valley (and a close drive from Waynesville), the Cataloochee Ski Area’s Tube World features specially crafted tubes, a “magic carpet” lift, and a snow-covered run.
The park uses two snowmaking guns that can create snow at up to 80 gallons per minute, and over a distance of up to 50 yards.
Tubing NC at the Cataloochee Ski Area lasts up to an hour and 45 minutes, and costs $30 per session during the week or $35 per session on weekends and holidays.
There’s no on-site lodging at the Cataloochee Ski Area, but they have lodging partners nearby.
We recommend staying at Cozy Creek Cottages, The Five Star Inn, a 3BR Luxury Log Cabin, or a 3BR Maggie Valley Retreat with hot tub. If you want to rent a cozy cabin or a larger vacation home in the area, check out VRBO.
While you’re in the area, be sure to visit beautiful Soco Falls, stop by the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum, or visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in nearby Cherokee NC.
Since Maggie Valley is only 30 minutes from the eastern entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you should also make some time to explore America’s most visited national park!
READ MORE: The 20 Best Things to Do in Waynesville NC & Haywood County
11. Highlands Outpost
7420 Dillard Road, Scaly Mountain NC • 828-526-3737
Formerly known as the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center, this snow tubing spot located near the North Georgia border changed its name to Highlands Outpost in 2021
Their tubing course features a “magic carpet” lift to the top of the slopes as well as a Kiddie Slope, which costs just $15 for two hours.
Highland Outpost’s winter tubing season begins on Oct 30 and lasts through March. The park also reopens in May for summer tubing fun.
Guests must be at least 42 inches tall and at least four years old to go snow tubing at Scaly Mountain. However, the Outdoor Center also offers ice skating, gem mining, and trout fishing.
Rates for the snow tubing are $35 per person for a 2-hour session, or combo tickets for tubing and one hour of ice skating are $45.
While you’re in the area, you can also explore Highlands Aerial Park, visit popular North Carolina waterfalls like Dry Falls and Glen Falls, or check out Black Rock Mountain State Park just across the state line in Clayton GA.
On-site lodging is not available, but there are plenty of options nearby.
We recommend the treehouse setting of the 2BR Sky Valley Casa Dolce Vita, the 4BR Wine Down vacation home, or the 4 bedroom Spacious Pet-Friendly Cabin in Dillard GA. Additional cabin rentals and vacation home rentals are available in the area through VRBO. –by Maggie Watts; lead image via Canva